You only get one spine – so avoid lifting injuries! Your back and spine are an anatomical marvel; they are flexible and bear an enormous amount of weight and daily activity. Due to their flexibility and the stresses of daily life, the back and spine are also very prone to issues. These can extend beyond the back into the legs, hips, and other parts of the body.
The most vulnerable part of your spine is the lumbar region, which lies behind the abdomen between the bottom of the ribs and the pelvis. It’s incredibly important to look after your spine, and the great news is that there is a lot you can do to strengthen your body’s core and maintain your back’s wellbeing!
How Do Proper Lifting Techniques Protect Your Spine?
Your spine is an extraordinary structure; however, it can easily be injured with sudden movements, lifting heavy objects, twisting, repetitive movements over time, and poor posture. Muscles and ligaments can become strained, stretched, and they can even develop tiny tears. Discs can bulge and deteriorate. Even the simplest strain can cause significant pain in the lower back.
The lumbar spine is a very flexible area, with five segments that provide a range of motion and which allows us to bend and to twist left to right. The vast majority of the spine’s motion occurs in the lower lumbar vertebrae.
Proper lifting techniques are a very important part of caring for your spine, as many cases of back pain are caused by lifting injuries. When you lift, stress is placed on the spine, and if you jerk or twist while lifting and carrying, you can injure the vertebrae, the discs, and the ligaments of the spine.
5 Tips for Protecting your Spine
- Strengthen Your Core. This means working to achieve strong stomach and back muscles to support the body, including the spine. Exercise that is low-impact also increases flow of blood to the spine, which in turn keeps it healthy.
- Adopt a Good Posture. Poor posture puts strain and stress on the spine, which over time can cause weakness and injury.
- Participate in Sports Wisely – warm up, stretch, and consider the potential impact of your chosen sport on your spine.
- Lift With a Great Technique:
- Place feet shoulder-width apart on a stable surface
- Bend from the hips and knees, not from the back, so that the legs take the load.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles
- Make sure you have a good grip on the load and hold it as close to you as possible – this will exert less force on your spine
- Brace for the life
- Breathe normally
- Lift in a steady way without jerking or twisting
Never try to carry too heavy of a load. Know your limitations! If you feel pain, even a small twinge, stop!
- Pay Attention to your Overall Health and Wellbeing. Maintain a healthy weight, drink plenty of fresh water, stop smoking, drink alcohol only in moderation, minimize psychological stress, and eat plenty of fresh and healthy fruit and vegetables.
Chronic Back Pain? – Visit a Top Spine Surgeon in Westchester
Prevention is always better than cure! By strengthening and protecting your core, you can potentially avoid injuring your back in the first place. If you do strain or injure your back, or if you have degenerative changes, medical treatments, proper exercises, and rest will in most cases see the pain improve and go away within a few weeks.
When back pain lasts longer than about six weeks, it’s time to see a spine surgeon in Westchester to assess whether you need surgery to treat the cause of your pain. Dr. Ezriel E. Kornel is a renowned leader in all aspects of spine surgery and he sees patients in his conveniently located offices in Manhattan, Dutchess County, and Westchester County.
Please call our office at 914-948-0444 to make an appointment to see Dr. Ezriel E. Kornel, or visit our website at topspinesurgeonnyc.com to learn more about how you can protect your core to avoid back pain and injury, and whether having spine surgery in Westchester is advisable for you.